Help Launch "The Slave Is Gone"

The podcast has launched! Follow and subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts or Spotify today! And please visit our new website.

AppleTV+’s DICKINSON  has so many people discovering and rediscovering Emily Dickinson -- her life, her poems, her world. It’s a series that’s fun and at times outrageous, that boldly presents Dickinson’s poetry and plays freely with her time and ours.

The Slave Is Gone is the show that talks back to DICKINSON. Acclaimed poets Jericho Brown (Pulitzer Prize 2020) and Brionne Janae (Cave Canem Book Prize 2020) join forces with “rogue scholar” Aífe Murray for a podcast that celebrates what works and breaks down what doesn’t in this  award-winning and popular series. And in every episode, they bring it back to the poems that continue to intrigue, attract, and inspire.

The Slave Is Gone will deepen popular engagement with this complex and essential American artist, at a moment when the controversies and passions of her time resonate with ours: Sex and consent, queerness and desire, ambition and repression, class and caste, race and cultural appropriation. It's all in The Slave Is Gone.  

To better understand what The Slave Is Gone will bring listeners, watch this video preview -- and scroll down to learn more about our hosts.

The key is to build audience early. So we want to be fully ready to launch and promote it in early November, parallel to the release of DICKINSON Season 3. 

Your contribution today will support the production and help us reach as many fans of DICKINSON (and Emily Dickinson!) as possible, to make sure they hear about it and have the chance to listen.

Our Hosts

Co-Host Jericho Brown headlined the Emily Dickinson Museum’s Tell It Slant Festival, creating a call and response by alternating his poems with those written by Dickinson during the Civil War. He is the author of the collection The Tradition (2019), which was a finalist for the 2019 National Book Award and the winner of the 2020 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry. He is the recipient of a Whiting Writers’ Award and fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Brown’s first book, Please (2008), won the American Book Award. His second book, The New Testament (2014), won the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award and was named one of the best of the year by Library Journal, Coldfront, and the Academy of American Poets. His poems have appeared in Buzzfeed, The Nation, The New York Times, The New Yorker, The New Republic, Time, and The Pushcart Prize Anthology, and several volumes of The Best American Poetry anthologies. He is the Charles Howard Candler Professor of Creative Writing and the Director of the Creative Writing Program at Emory University in Atlanta.

Co-Host Brionne Janae was featured in Amherst Arts Night at the Emily Dickinson Museum. A poet and teaching artist living in Brooklyn, Brionne is the author of Blessed are the Peacemakers (2021), which won the 2020 Cave Canem Northwestern University Press Poetry Prize, and After Jubilee (2017) published by Boat Press. Brionne is the recipient of the St. Botolph Emerging Artist award, a Hedgebrook Alum and proud Cave Canem Fellow. Their poetry has been published in Ploughshares, The American Poetry Review, The Academy of American Poets Poem-a-Day, The Sun Magazine, jubilat, and Waxwing among others. Off the page they go by Breezy.

Executive Producer and Rogue Scholar Aífe Murray is the author of Maid as Muse: How Servants Changed Emily Dickinson’s Life and Language (2010) and Art of Service, an artists’ book collaboration with the Dickinson Museum house cleaners and gardeners (1997). The servant plot line of Apple TV’s “Dickinson” is taken from her research and writing. She conceived, produced and has led public walking tours of the Dickinson servants’ Amherst; the first was co-narrated with a servant descendant and Dickinson Museum house cleaners and gardeners. Her installation “Pantry DRAWer” was part of the Mead Art Museum exhibition Word As Object: Emily Dickinson and Contemporary Art (1997). Aífe (pronounced ee-fah) created, produced and staged the ensemble event An Emily Dickinson Sensorium introducing the poet’s word-shop through the senses (LitCrawl NYC 2012), and has taught 19th century style baking using Emily Dickinson’s recipes and methods (#OldSkillsNewMinds, UUSA 2015). She has been in residence (2004) and a scholar advisor (2019) for the Emily Dickinson Museum.

The Production Team

Executive Producer Lisa Rothman has been producing innovative radio programing for more than two decades. Her nationally distributed show Chew On This brought experts from nonprofit organizations to a food truck park where they answered the public’s questions about such practical challenges as how to bike safely in the city and how to garden in a small space. It received the Zeitfunk Award for Most Licensed Debut Producer on Public Radio Exchange. Her profile of knitter Elizabeth Zimmermann, her radio show Telling It Like It Is:  True Stories Told by the People Who Lived Them, and her investigative reporting on environmental justice which resulted in revised legislation in the City of Oakland, garnered awards from the National Federation of Community Broadcasters. Her work has also been recognized by the California Teachers Association and the National Education Media Network.

Producer Matt Martin has twenty years of experience as a reporter, producer and executive in public media. As General Manager at KALW public radio in San Francisco, Matt oversaw the creation of original productions including the hit design podcast 99% Invisible, the local newsmagazine Crosscurrents, and the pathbreaking Spanish-language narrative journalism program Radio Ambulante. He helped launch KALW’s Audio Academy as well as programs at San Quentin and Solano State Prisons and led the first broad-based strategic planning process in the station’s history. He currently produces the podcast Politically Re-Active hosted by W. Kamau Bell and Hari Kondabolu.


A 2019 Inductee into the Michigan Women’s Hall of Fame, Dr. Terry Bohnhorst Blackhawk is a nationally respected educator and founder and executive director (1995-2015) of InsideOut Literary Arts Project bringing the power of poetry and literary self-expression to Detroit area youth. In a White House ceremony in 2009, Michelle Obama honored InsideOut’s after school program, Citywide Poets, with a Youth Program Award from the President’s Committee for the Arts and the Humanities; InsideOut itself was featured on US Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey’s “Where Poetry Lives'' series on the PBS Newshour in 2013. Blackhawk’s five full-length poetry collections include Escape Artist (winner of the John Ciardi Prize), and One Less River, a Kirkus Reviews Best 2019 Poetry Title. She has received the Foley Poetry Prize, the Pablo Neruda Poetry Prize and grants from the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs and the National Endowment for the Humanities, which granted her a Teacher-Scholar sabbatical to study Emily Dickinson’s life and work. The NEH also awarded InsideOut a year-long Big Read of Emily Dickinson in 2010. Dr. Terry Bohnhorst Blackhawk was twice named Michigan Creative Writing Teacher of the Year and is a 2013 Kresge Arts in Detroit Literary Fellow.

Dr. Marilyn Nelson is the author or translator of more than 20 books and chapbooks for adults and children. Her critically acclaimed books for young adults include A Wreath for Emmett Till and the ground-breaking Carver: A Life in Poems, a Newbery Honor Book. Of Marilyn’s nine poetry collections for adults, The Homeplace won the 1992 Anisfield-Wolf Award, and The Fields of Praise: New and Selected Poems received the 1998 Poets’ Prize, the PEN Winship Award, and the Lenore Marshall Prize. A three-time finalist for the National Book Award, her many honors include the Frost Medal, the Poetry Society of America’s award for “distinguished lifetime achievement in poetry”; the Poetry Foundations Ruth Lilly Award; the NSK Neustadt Prize; and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. A professor emerita of English at the University of Connecticut, she has served as a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets, as Poet-in-Residence of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, and as Poet Laureate of Connecticut, 2001– 2006.

Women’s Audio Mission engineers will record, mix and edit the show. A San Francisco/Oakland-based nonprofit organization, WAM is the only professional recording studio in the world built and run by women/GNC individuals. It attracts over 2,000 underserved women/girls/GNC individuals every year to STEM and creative technology studies that inspire them to amplify their voices and become the innovators of tomorrow.


The Jones Library in Amherst, Massachusetts is the podcast’s launch sponsor and our non-profit fiscal sponsor is the International Media Project. 

Why "The Slave Is Gone?"

The podcast's title comes from a Dickinson poem written at the outbreak of the Civil War:

 The Lamp burns sure - within -

Tho’ Serfs - supply the Oil -

It matters not the busy

Wick -

At her phosphoric toil!


The Slave - forgets - to fill -

The Lamp - burns golden - on -

Unconscious that the oil

is out -

As that the Slave - is gone.

Support Comes From

The Slave Is Gone is funded in part by Mass Humanities, which receives support from the Massachusetts Cultural Council and is an affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.



  • Luna Jaffe
    • $50 
    • 1 yr
  • Anonymous
    • $20 
    • 2 yrs
  • Susan Karwoska
    • $50 
    • 2 yrs
  • dana maya
    • $20 
    • 2 yrs
  • Catalina Cariaga
    • $100 
    • 2 yrs


Aífe Murray
San Francisco, CA
Making Contact / International Media Project (Making Contact or National Radio Project)
Registered nonprofit
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